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Craft Optimism – April 24–May 1

April 20, 2021

I am honored to be included in Craft Optimism, an online marketplace organized by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee and Honoring the Future (presented on Bidsquare, April 24 – May 1, 2021) that focuses on U.S. handcrafts made with processes that respect the environment and conveying messages of environmental responsibility, especially as they relate to climate change. The surcharge for sales through the Smithsonian Women’s Committee will go toward grants, outreach, and research.

For this show, I am offering my recycled birds and related sculptures. At first, the birds were just easily repeatable and dynamic forms that leant themselves to this project. As I have made hundreds of them over the past few years, I have come to think of them as messengers that fly from my studio out into the world, spreading the word about recycling and climate change and starting conversations about what we discard and how to think about our material world differently. I also like to think of how my creating these birds echoes how birds collect materials for their homes, limited to what they can find in their immediate vicinity, by fortune and with a keen knowledge of what they can use to make an effective vessel to perpetuate their species.

Recycled birds covered with chopstick wrappers

My Recycled Birds project continues, with ever more birds covered with a wide range of found materials (mostly used papers). The individual birds are mostly made from toilet paper rolls, junk mail postcards, packing newsprint, and reused wire from workshops or reclaimed spines of spiral notebooks.

Photos of process here.

I have expanded the bird theme, to perch some of them on individual found objects

Or provide nests for them made from stick-like materials

I have even bypassed the birds and started making eggs to go in the nests.

Twist tie nest with rose petal-covered eggs

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